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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  August 18, 2010 11:00am-1:00pm EDT

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isn't going to be set up until 2013 -- because it takes a while. we have to set it up right. there are some immediate things that are happening right now. if your child has a pre-existing condition, insurance companies starting this year will not be able to deny those children coverage, and that's a big deal for a lot of folks whose children may have diabetes or some other illness. insurance companies have to provide them insurance. number two, how many people here have kids who are college aged, about to go to college? all right, one of the things you're going to be able to do is when those kids get out of college, if they don't get insurance right away, they'll be able to stay on your insurance until they're 26 years old. that's a big deal because a lot
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of time that first job or those first couple of jobs out of college are the runs that don't provide health insurance. there are a number of changes that are being made right now that will make those of you who have health insurance more secure with the insurance they have. we're eliminating lifetime limits. there's a bunch of fine print on insurance forms that sometimes have ended up creating real problems for people. your insurance company decides to drop you right when you get sick, just when you need it most. those kinds of practices are over now. the final aspect of health reform that is important is that by changing the incentives for how doctors get paid under medicare and medicaid, we're actually encouraging doctors to become more efficient so that over time health care costs actually start leveling out a little bit instead of skyrocketing each year. everybody here who has health
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insurance, what's been happening? your premiums are going up, co-payments going up. we have to try to control the costs of it, and part of it is just a matter of making sure we get a better bang for our health care doctor. so, for example, when you go to a doctor, we are still filling out forms in triplet on paper. the only business that there is where you still have a whole bunch of paper work. we are trying to encourage information technologies so when you go to a doctor they can already pull down your medical records electronically. if you take a test, then it's sent to all of the specialists involved so you don't have to take four or five tests and pay for four or five tests when all you needed was just one. those are the things that will take longer to take effect but over time will lower costs. i'm going to go boy-girl here to
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make sure it's fair. right here. absolutely. >> mr. president, i'm concerned about the furor lately that's been similar to what's happened in the past but is a re-emerging from the republican party but from democrats, that social security is needing to be privatized because it's going to go broke and that sort of thing. how would you comment on that? >> i have been adamant in saying that social security should not be privatized, and it will not be privatized as long as i'm president. here's the reason. >>. [ applause ] i was opposed to it before the financial crisis, and what i said was that the purpose of social security is to have that floor, you know, that solid, rock-solid security, so that no matter what else happens, you've
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always got some income to support you in your retirement. and i've got no problem with people investing in their 401(k)s, and we want to encourage people to invest in private savings accounts but social security has to be separate. imagine in a portion of social security had been in the stock market back in 2006 and 2007. you saw what happened with your 401(k)s, you lost 20%, 30%, 40% of it. now, we've recovered in part because of the policies that we put in place to stabilize the situation. the stock market has recovered 60% to 70% of its value from its peak. but if you were really in need last year or the year before, and suddenly you see your assets drop by 40%, and that's all you are relying on -- it would have
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been a disaster. here's the thing. social security is not in crisis. what is happening is that the population is getting older, which means we've got more retires per worker than we used to. we're going to have to make some modest adjustments in order to strengthen it. there are some fairly modest changes that could be made without resorting to any new fangled schemes that could continue social security for another 25 years where everybody gettings the benefits they deserve, and we created a fiscal commission of democrats and republicans to come up with what would be the best combination to help stabilize social security for not just this generation but the next generation. i'm absolutely convinced it can be done, and as i said, i want to encourage people to save more on their own. but i don't want them taking
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money out of social security so that people are putting that into the stock market. you know, there are other ways of doing this. for example, it turns out that if you set up a system with your employer where the employer automatically deducts some of your paycheck and puts is into your 401(k) account, unless you say you don't want it done, it turns out people save more just naturally. you know, it's just kind of a psychological thing. if they take it out of your paycheck and automatically take it out, unless you affirmatively say take it out, you'll save more than if they ask you want to save and you say, no, i'm going to keep the money, and you save less. that's a small change. it's voluntary but that in and of itself could boost savings rates significantly. so there's a bunch of ways that
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we can make sure that the retirement is more security, but we have to make sure that social security is there not just for this generation but for the next one. okay. jen man's turn. by the way, i know that some folks may be hot. if they are, move into the shade. i'm aaron mcgreevey. i was born and raised in a good, blue collar town in toledo, hoyle. i grew up in a union family and work for a significant number of pension assets in the labor market with an investment firm. i think the question i have that bothers me is what's important to the people out there i talk to. first, what's going to happen with their pensions especially those in the red be yoel low, the ppa has not been that favorable to them and the pbcg is not a good option. my father took retirement and he's not receiving the maximum. i'm not naive enough to think
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that pensions can save workers. we have 9.5 unemployment in this country at last release and it's larger than that for the manufacturing industry and for us in the rust belt, toledo, detroit, cleveland. we need to put those guys back to work. how can we sustain a competitive product to make us a leader in the labor force industry going forward, not just to get back to work for a year or two but for the long-term so they can grow their own product and work. >> look, this is a great question and goes to the heart of what our economic strategy has to be, and senator brown and congresswoman kilroy and others, i know this is their number one concern sbeech every day and certainly your governor's number one concern each and every day. how do we make sure we're creating a competitive america in which we aren't just buying things from other countries, that we're selling things to
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other countries making things here in america. let me give you a couple of examples of areas that i think have enormous promise. number one is the whole clean industry. toledo is becoming a leader in this in creating good jobs in building solar panels, wind turbines, advanced battery manufacturing. there is a whole series of huge potential manufacturing industries in which we end up being world leaders, and, as a bonus, end up creating a more energy-efficient economy that is also good for the environment. now, we made at the beginning of my term, the largest investment in clean energy in our history, and so there are plants that are opening up all across the country creating products made in america that are now being
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shipped overseas. i'll give you one example, the advanced battery manufacturing industry. these are the batteries that go into electric cars or the batteries that are ending up helping to make sure that if you get solar power or wind power, that it can be transmitted in an efficient way. we had 2% of the entire market, 2%. by 2015 in five years, we're going to have 40% of that market. because of the investments that we made. so one of the advanced battery manufacturing plants that we helped get going with key loans and support and tax breaks, they're now putting those batteries into the chevy volt, and you combine it then with an entire new u.s. auto industry
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that is cleaner and smarter and has better designs and is making better products, those are potentially thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs, and the midwest is really poised to get a lot of those jobs, and in a town like toledo where you have a lot of skilled workers, they are poised to be able to take off on that but we have to continue to support it. the other area i mentioned was infrastructure. we've got about $2 trillion worth of infrastructure improvements that need to be made across the country. roads, bridges, sewer lines, water mains. it's crumbling. the previous generation made all of these investments that not only put people to work right away but also laid the foundation for economic growth in the future. and we used to always have the
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best infrastructure worldwide. now, you know, if it comes to rail, we certainly don't have the best rail system in the world. our roads, in a lot of places, aren't the best. our airports aren't the best. somebody is laughing. they just obviously went through an airport. so we've got a lot of work to do on infrastructure. and this is an area where i hope we can get some bipartisan agreement. it's hard to get bipartisan agreement these days, but i think the notion that we can put people to work rebuilding america, investing in making stuff here in the united states, that -- by the way, every time you build a road, that's not just putting people to work on the actual construction. all all of those supplies that go into road building, all of the supplies that go into a bridge, all of those supplies that go into rail, that's
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creating a ripple effect all throughout the economy. so i think that's a second area of great potential. the last point you made it to do with pensions. look, truth be told, the way we were handling pensions both in private companies and among public employees, a lot of it wasn't that different from some of the stuff that was going on on wall street. because what happened was -- is that these pensions weren't adequately funded. some of these companies would underfund it and then say, well, we're going to get an 8% return or 10% return on our pension funds to make it look like they're adequately funded when they weren't. that contributed to pension funds chasing a lot of risky investments that promised these high returns but, in fact, were built on a house of cards. so you're going to see a number
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of pensions in a number of companies that are underfunded. now, we've got a mechanism at the federal level that provides a certain percentage backup or guarantee for these pension funds if they fail. but we're going to have to, i think, work with these private sector companies so that right now they become very profitable. you know, companies are making money right now. we were talking earlier about the economy and how it's moving slow. corporate profits are doing just fine. they're holding onto a whole bunch of cash, sitting on it waiting to see if they can make more money and opportunity but they haven't started hiring yet. one of the things they need to be doing with cash is shoring up pension funds that are currently underfunded. it's a girl's turn. yes, right there. >> thank you, president obama. tied in with the jobs situation,
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i think, is the education system and it seems to be in a crisis now, and people are not being educated to take these jobs that are going to be created, and i wondered what sort of plans you might have for that. >> that's a great question. are you in education? >> no, i'm a nurse. >> well, that's important, too. >> yes. >> thanks for the care you give to people all day long. i'm a big fan of nurses. the thing that will probably most determine our success in the 21st century is going to be our education system. i'll just give you a quick statistic. a generation ago, we ranked number one in the number of college graduates. we have now slipped to number 12 in the number of college graduates. that's just in one generation. that is putting us at a huge
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competitive disadvantage because, look, companies these days, they can locate anywhere. you have an internet line, you can set your company up in india, you can set your company in the czech republican. it doesn't really matter where you are. so what that means is that a lot of companies are going to look for where can they find the best workforce. and we have to make sure that that is in columbus, ohio. we've got to make sure that's that toledo. we have to make sure that's in the united states. now, we still have the best universities, and the best colleges on earth but there are couple of problems that have come up. first of all, our education starts at k through 12. and we're not doing a good enough job at the k through 12 level, making sure that all of our kids are proficient in math, in science, in reading and
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writing, and what we've done is set up something called the race to the top, where although a lot of federal money still flows to school based on a formula and need. we've taken a certain amount of money and said, you know what, you have to compete for this money, and you have got to show us that you've got a plan to improve the education system, to fix low-performing schools, to improve how you train teachers, because teachers are the single-most important ingredient in the education system, to collect data, to show that you're improving how these kids are learning, and what's happened is that states all across the country have responded really well. we've seen the jorts of states change their laws to do this bottom up grass routes improvement of the k through 12 system. that's number one. second thing we have to solve is college became unaffordable for a lot of people, and joe and
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rhonda, we were just talking, and we're about the same age and got married, i think the same year and our kids are the same age, so we have gone through the same stuff. michelle and i -- i don't know about you guys. we didn't talk about this, but michelle and i had a lot of debt when we finished school. it was expensive, and neither of us came from wealthy families. we took out a bunch of student loans. it took us about ten years to pay off our student loans. it was actually higher than our mortgage for most of the time. i don't want that burden to be placed on kids right now because a lot of them as a sequence, maybe they decide not to go to college or or if they do, they end up getting off to a tough start because their pay will not support the amount of debt that they have got. here's what we did, working with sherrod and mary jo, democrats in congress. this didn't get a lot of
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attention, but we actually completely transformed how the government student loan program works. originally what was happening was all of those loans were going through banks and financial intermediaries, and even though the loans were guaranteed by the government and the banks weren't takes any risks, they were skimming off billions of dollars in profits. and we said, well, that doesn't make any sense, if we're guaranteeing it, why don't we give the loans directly to the students and take the billions of dollars that was going to banks as profits and give more loans. as a consequence, we have been able to provide millions of more students additional loans and make college more affordable over time. that's the second thing. third thing we've got to do is we got to focus on community colleges, which are a wonderful asset. not everybody's going to go to a four-year college and even if you go to a four-year college,
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you may have to go back and retrain even while you are working to keep up with new developments in your industry. so we try to partner with community colleges, figure out how to strengthen them, put more resources in them and link them up to businesses who are actually hiring so they're training people for the jobs that exist as opposed to the jobs that don't. one of the problems we've had for a lot of young people is they go to college training for a job, thinking there's a job out there, and, actually, the economy has moved on. and what we need to do is tailor people's education so that they are linked up with businesses who say we need this many engineers or we need this kind of technical training and we'll help design what that type of training is so when that person goes to college and they're taking out loans to go to college, they know at the end of the road there is going to be a
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job available to them. math, science, we have got to really emphasize those. that's an area where we have fallen far behind. our technologiological competitiveness depends on how we do in yes, sir. >> mr. president, my name is joe richard. i'm a proud fire fighter for the great city of columbus, here in ohio. [ applause ] thank you much. >> joe, did you used to play for ohio state, man? >> i must correct you. i was actually part of the national championship team for eastern kentucky university. national champion no less. >> there you go. you look like we could put you on the line right now. >> that's what they all say. mr. president, i wanted to talk to you about a couple of things as it pertains to the safety and
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security of our firefighters. i want to share with you some good news as it pertains to the stimulus act you signed off on. locally and from the state's standpoint, we had some firefighters' jobs in jeopardy, up in the hundreds. the stimulus package -- i know the state was strapped with its commitment and what it had to do with the monies. some of those areas we weren't able to be supported in, but because of your administration signing off on the safer act, which is staffing, adequate fire and emergency response, you provided over 300 million last year and upped that to over 400 million this year that had allowed for the jobs in ohio, the firefighters's jobs to come back and get their jobs back. in addition to that, the fire act has provided safer equipment for us.
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we -- i don't want to sound cliche, but i'm your average joe, but what we do as firefighters, we want to make a significant difference to our citizens here in our community as well as our lives. that safer act and five act has provided us money and funding for significant equipment, face pieces, self-contained breathing apparatus, things of those natures. we come to say how proud we are to be able to afford that opportunity to secure our firefighters. the international president has appreciative thank you, and we would hope that you would dhdh know in your country, cincinnati, akron, niles have brought back firefighters because of the safer act, and if anywhere along your schedule you have an opportunity to stop into that stations and thank those firefighters, we would greatly appreciate that. >> well, thank you, and as i said, you guys put your lives on
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the line each and every day. we wanted to make sure that public safety was not being threatened as a consequence of the recession. we have done that. we've helped to support not just firefighters but also police officers, teachers, other violate services. we're going to continue to support you, and, again, we're very grateful for everything you do, and if this is your lovely wife here, we're grateful for her, too, because she has to put up with you running off into fires and putting yourself in danger, and i'm sure that makes her stressed but i'm sure she's very proud of you. okay, anybody else? yes. go ahead. here, we got a microphone over there. >> hi, mr. president. my name is pam cohen, and i was actually recently laid off of a position working at our local community college helping
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dislocated workers get back and get retrained, but the position was funded on workforce investment dollars and it was unfunded. as i look for a new position in social services is i'm having trouble finding a position that pays enough so i can pay my bills and send my daughter to quality child care. i wonder if there is anything done to reduce child care costs in washington? >> well, we have a child care credit in place. we'd like to make it stronger. this is one of those back and forths we have been having with the republicans because we actually think it is a good idea, and they don't. but i think that giving families support who have to work each and every day is absolutely critical. now, there's some companies that are starting to get smart about providing child care on site for
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their employees, which makes a huge difference. that's a huge relief, but those are usually bigger companies, and some smaller companies and small businesses don't have that capacity. bottom line is we just got to make sure that we're providing you more support primarily through a tax credit mechanism. this is something that we have incorporated in the past in our budget. we haven't gotten everything that we'd like done on it. it will be something that we will continue to try to work on a bipartisan basis to get the cost of child care down. there is another component of this, and that's boosting the quality of child care. you know, kids learn more from the age of 10 to 3 than they do for the rest of their lives, and this goes to the earlier question about education. we want to get them off to a good start, knowing their colors and numbers and letters, just knowing how to sit still.
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and a high it-quality child care environment can help on that front. but that means that child care workers, for example, have to be paid a decent wage and get decent training. you know, we set up a task force that is trying to lift up best practices. who is really do aggregate job in creating high-quality child care at an affordable rate and trying to teach other cities and communities and states how to replicate some of that great progress that's been made. there is some terrific progress being made but far and few between. i have time for two more questions. yes, sir, right here. >> my name is mike o'reilly, and i work for a company that is benefiting from some stimulus money here in columbus. it's keeping me and my crews
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afloat for a while but what we really need is a stronger housing market here in columbus. we need to be building new roads and making houses affordable for people. they need to get out there and buy them. they need to be able to get the loans. what's up with that? >> remember, i told you that it's going to take some time for this economy to come back? one of the reasons that's going to take for the economy to come back is that the housing market is still a big drag on the economy as a whole. and the reason the housing market is still a big drag on the economy as a whole is we built a lot of homes over the previous five, seven, ten years. every year about 1.4 million families are formed that are ready to buy a new house or need
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someplace to live. and what happened over the previous four, five, seven years during this housing bubble was we were building 2 million homes a year when only 1.4 were being absorbed. and then the bubble burst, and now we're only building 500,000. some states are worse than otherwise you go to places like nevada or arizona or florida or california, and their inventory of unsold homes was so high that it is just going to take a whole bunch of years to absorb all of that housing stock. now, what we can do is to help people who are currently in
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their homes stay in their homes. we can strengthen the economy overall so that that new family that just formed, they feel confident enough to say, you know what, it's time, honey for us to go out and take the plunge and start looking. right now, they're kind of holding back the way a lot of people are hold, back because of the uncertainty in the market. we have initiated through the treasury department a number of programs like that to help support the housing market generally, but i want to be honest with you, it is going to take some time for us to be a sword this over -- this inventory that was just too high. there's no really quick way to do it. we're talking about a $5 trillion market, and we can't plug that big hole in terms of all of the housing that needs to be absorbed.
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we're not going to be able to subsidize all of that overcapacity right now. what we can do is just stabilize it and then improve the economy overall. what we're going to do is get back to the point where we're building 1.4 million homes a year instead of 400,000. the industry is going to come back. the question is can we fluch it a little more but more important, can we improve the economy overall so people feel a little more confidence. i have time for one more. you have a question? >> you can use mine. >> thank you. >> my name is nadine, i'm the practice manager at an ophthalmology track downtown. it is a great facility that the city of columbus helped us get in place, and there are over 30 doctors providing quality care in separate practices, a state
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of the art surgery center. we see tens of thousands of people each year. over 300 people employed. when i started working for the practice years ago, we are now getting reimbursed one-third of what we were then, and our operating costs go up. my boss is kind enough to provide health care costs entirely for all of this employees. how does he continue to do that when medicare continues to reduce what they're paying, and there's the threat of moor cuts coming, and the private insurance companies follow suit. >> it's a great question, and let me talk about medicare generally. medicare, i think, is one of the cornerstones of our social safety net. the basic idea is you've been
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working all your life, you retire, just like you have social security you can count on, you also have medicare you can count on. you are not going to go bankrupt because you get sick. but in the same way that social security has to be tweaked because the population is getting older, we've got to refresh and renew medicare to make sure it's going to be there for the next generation as well. and the key problems are not just that more people as they retire are going to be part of medicare. the big problem is just health care inflation generally. the costs of health care keep on skyrocketing. the way we've been dealing with it -- which i think is the wrong way to deal with it -- is basically underreimbursing the providers. the right way to deal with it is to work i providers to figure out how to make the system less wasteful and more efficient overall.
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that way, we're paying your boss -- if he's spending a dollar on care, he's getting reimbursed a dollar, and we are making sure that the care he's providing is exactly what the person needs and high quality for a better price. and that's part of what health care reform was all about. i'll just give you a couple of exam hes. one of the things we were doing in medicare is giving tense of billions of dollars of subsidies to insurance companies even though that plan wasn't shown to make seniors any healthier than regular old medicare. we said we're not going to end medicare advantage but we are going to have some competitive bidding and force the insurance companies to show us exactly what value are you adding, how are you helping to make the seniors healthier, and if you are not helping, you shouldn't be getting paid. we should be giving that money to the doctor and the nurse and the other people who are actually providing care, not the insurance companies.
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well, you know, there was a lot of hue and cry about this. it was exactly the right thing to do because we found out that the actuaries for medicare says the changes we made extended the life of the medicare trust fund for another ten year, which is the longest it's ever been extended. we've made medicare stronger with se of the changes we have already made but you are absolutely right we have to continue it make changes to make it stronger, and that will affect not just medicare but the entire health care system because there is no doctor out there who doesn't see medicare as the 800 pound gorilla. if medicare says you have to improve your quality and efficiency, then they will because they have a lot of medicare patients, but they also have a lot of regular patients. so hospitals, doctors, everybody starts to get more efficient as medicare gets more efficient. the key is making sure we are
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not just cutting benefits, and, frankly, this is an argument that i have with my friends in the republican party sometimes. one big change that some of them have advocated is to voucherize the medicare system. basically, instead of once you have medicare, you knowing that you can take that and go get care anywhere you want, we 0 would just give you here, whatever it is, $6,000, $7,000, you go shop and figure out what kind of best deal you can get. the problem is that if medicare costs -- if health care costs go up and your voucher doesn't keep going up, you're going to be in trouble and suddenly you have seniors who find themselves way short of what they need in terms of providing care. we have to change the way the health care system actually operates, and that means more preventive care. it means that we reimburse people for checkups. it means that we reimburse
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doctors when they're consulting with people on things like smoking cessation and weight control and exercise. there are a whole bunch of things that can make us healthier, reduce our costs overall, but the system doesn't innocent vice them right now. we need to change that. okay? anybody have any last burning question? that was the tick nickically last question but this is one that, man, i really need an answer for. >> it's a very general question here. i'm colin o'reilly. that's my dad, mike. i work on wall street. i wonder what kind of changes we can expect to see in the reform in the next couple of years. >> here's the essential components of wall street reform that we set up. number one is that we've got -- we had a system in which there was huge amounts of leverage that banks could take, and what
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leverage means is that if they got a dollar in deposits, they were making a $40 bet using that one dollar, which when times are good means you're making a lot of money. right? you're putting one dollar down of your own money and you got $40, and when the market is going up, you're making out like a bandit, but when the market goes down and starts deleveraging, you're in froubl and that's what happened with a lot of these companies. so one thing that we said is for big firms that are what we call systemic, if they go down, the whole system could go down with them, we've got to have a better check and say, you know what, you have to control a little bit how you work in terms of leverage. you got to have enough capital, actual money, to cover the bets that you're placing so that you're not putting the whole system at risk.
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that's number one. number two there's a whole derivatives market out there that frankly even the bankers don't completely understand. but you've got trillions of dollars and if you work on wall street, you are familiar with obviously the derivatives mark. you have trillions of dollars that are basically outside of the regulated banking system and people didn't know whose making bets on what, and what he said, that derivatives market -- it can continue, but it's got to be in an open, transparent marketplace so that everybody knows, you know, who is betting on what. and we're very clear about who the various parties are in these complex derivatives transactions so that the regulators can follow it more closely. that's number two. the third thing that we did is we made sure that we don't have taxpayer bailouts again. so we've set up a system whereby
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if a big firm gets in trouble, we are able to essentially quarantine it, set it aside and liquidate it without it affecting the systems a a whole. that's the third thing. the fourth thing is having a consumer financial protection agency that is really going to do a good job making sure that the consumers know what they're getting when it comes to financial products. you know, when you buy a toaster, there's been some assurance provided that that toaster will not explode in your farks right? there are whole bunch of laws in there. people have to do tests on the toasters to make sure that nothing happens. but if you buy a mortgage that explodes in your face because you didn't know what was going
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on, everybody acts like, well, that's your problem. no, it's all of our problems. part of the reason we had this financial crisis was because people did not always understand the financial instruments they were purchasing. a lot of these subprime loans given out, no-interest -- you can buy your house with no money down, no interest, you got this beautiful house. naturally, people were thinking, this sounds great, but what they weren't looking at is there's a balloon payment five years down. this is only going to work if the value of your house keeps on appreciating, and if it stops on appreciates it will not work anymore. people hadn't thought through all of those ramifications and it affected the whole system. we are going to have a consumer finance protection agency whose only job is to look after you
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when it comes to financial products. joe and rhonda and i were talking about how it was only seven or eight years ago when michelle and i were trying to figure out our student loans invest your college education. at the end of the month, i'd be getting my credit card bills. i'm a pretty smart guy, but you open up that bill, you don't know what's going on. you don't read that fine print. you just look at the statement. as an example of the kinds of things this new agency will be enforcing -- we already passed a law thanks to mary jo and sherrod. we passed a law that says if a credit card can't raise the interest rates on existing balances. so they can't attract you with a zero percent interest and you run up a $3,000 balance and send
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you a statement and say your interest went up to 29%. you can't do that. they'll still be able to say we're going to raise your interest rate to 29% but that can only be on the balances going forward. it can't be on the money that you borrowed where you thought it was a 0%. that's an example of straightforward, honest dealing that we're going to be expecting. we think the financial markets will still make money, the banks can still make money but they have to make money the old-fashioned way, which is loan money to small businesses who are providing services to the community, loan money to joe for this architectural firm and he's going to make sure you pay him back. loan people to money for mortgages but make sure you have done the due diligence so you are not tricking them into something they can't afford. make sure it's something you can afford. they are a bunch of basic, common sense reforms that we're putting in place that will allow the market to function because
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the free market is the best system ever devised for creating wealth, but there have to be some rules on the road so you are making money not by gaming the system but by providing a better product or service. listen. i want to thank all of you for spending the timepy i know it got warm and you hung in there like troupers. i want to thank ted strickland, sherrod brown, mayor michael coleman, your lieutenant governor and i believe the next united states senator fisher, and i want to thank joe and rhonda whiteman and the whole group of you. the president visiting ohio natives at their home in columbus. the visit started with the president at their kitchen table along with the young children. then you heard the president
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broaden the conversation out back with some of the neighbors. his focus, the economy. let's bring in our white house correspondent suzanne malveaux. are you there with me? not yet. we will talk to suzanne in a couple of minutes. getting help for small businesses is one of the points that president obama stressed in his backyard session. have a listen. >> to ensure that small businesses are getting help because small businesses, like joe's architectural firm, are really the key to our economy. they create two out of every three jobs. so we want to make sure they're getting financing. we want to make sure that we are cutting their taxes in certain key areas. one of the things that we've done, for example, is propose that we eliminate capital gains taxes on small businesses so that when they're starting out and don't have a lot of cash flow they should get some help.
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>> let's bring instead ofny elam at the new york stock exchange. stephanie, the whiteman family gets money from the government when the case could be made that the family should be getting that money from a bank at a decent rate. corporations and banks are sitting on one of the numbers out there is $1.8 trillion in cash, and somebody are suggesting they are hoarding cash. why aren't we seeing more money in the system wrp it could do good? >> this is the problem everybody is talking about. there's money out there somewhere. so what's the issue? the issue is two parts. the issue where the banks feel there's a lack of collateral because they would have borrowed against their homes but those values dropped. the banks have this aversion to risk. so they're afraid to take on more debt with these people they don't know, so therefore they're not giving out the loans that
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they used to. to prove a point ones what's happening here is the kind of loan this family would need is a small business loan but instead there is this move to credit cards, and a lot of small businesses are saying it's easier to get a credit card than a loan. if you take a look at the screen, credit card approval rate, 80% but a bank loan approval rate is 50%. it shows you there's a problem because it's easier for a bank to give a loan through a credit card and pull the rug out from under people and say we're taking that credit card away from you. there's no that same sort of safety and this is giving small business owners who, by the way, i should point out, employ half of america's workers. if they don't feel safe, they are not going to hire more people or spend more money on their infrastructure and all of these things. that's a huge, huge problem. >> what corporations are doing, is apparently, just working
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their employees, the ones who they have, harder and longer. did you see this information out of this new survey earlier this week, job dissatisfaction? two out of five u.s. professionals are considering quitting their jobs as soon as this fall. top reason cited, lack of communication and involvement by top management and no promotion despite good work results and workers citing being overworked. >> if that's the case, where are you going to go in this job market. while a lot of people want to quit, the reason they're doing nine jobs is because there's not a lot of jobs to go to, and they have to get by. that's the bad situation all of these people are in. >> it seems that there is cash there, there are people who are overworked, there are people like the whiteman family that it's an architectural firm that perhaps could be doing more work, but tony harris, incorporated can't get the loan
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from the bank to do the buildout on my dodge dealership to respond to the demand for more service. >> that's the problem because the fact of the matter is that the banks are making sure that they're protecting themselves. they took a hit here but not as much as some of these people. they are protecting themselves making sure they have their money, their cash there but the products they're putting out for small business owners is taylored to help the banks, not the small business companies. they're not getting the best solution and do not feel safe and are not hiring, and tony harris, incorporated can't do much better. >> i'd like to but can't. let's gets back to suzanne malveaux. this setting, meeting with the family at their home and a mini-rose garden moment in the backyard. this is a pretty unique situation, isn't it? >> you know, it's only unique at
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this time, but it happened all of the time during the campaign which says something about where we are with this because when president obama, then the candidate, was getting criticism of being out of touch, they had these backyard events, home events, barbecues, the whole thing. so it's familiar in that sense that he is facing a lot of criticism here. does he get it, and are this economic policies working. you have a lot of stage craft working, this economic road so, because, simply because it fits this model, if you will, of the economic policies working for this family. you heard joe, who has this architectural firm, five employees, was going to have to layoff a few folks, and then lo and behold, there's the police station next door or nearby that has a construction project that is ready to go, and he gets a chance to work on that. and that police station had the recovery act money that was supporting it. so the president could talk about that. you have the wife, rhonda, who
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lost her job, but still gets to keep her health care, her benefits, because of the health care reform. and their young son, who has a preexisting condition, but because of health care reform, is able to still have health care coverage himself. cannot be denied. these are the kinds of things that obviously the white house research researches, it comes together. tony, there is another point i want to make here. i had a chance to talk to a white house stafferer who said, look, it's not just those parts of it. it's also logistics that this took a long time to put together, because you need a family, quite frankly, that has the backyard, that's big enough to go ahead and have a discussion. you've got to have the neighbors you see contracts that are basically far enough from the house for security issues, security measures, so all of that goes into deciding and planning this kind of event. a lot of elaborate stage craft so the president can say we're not only talking about kitchen table issues, i'm sitting at the kitchen table with this family, discussing what's important to them. >> quickly here, you mentioned
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the stage craft involved in pulling something like this off. some might hear that and wonder about the neighbors who were there. were they invited, were they hand-picked to be there, or are they just neighbors who were invited to come on and have this conversation with the president? >> well, these are neighbors from the area, invited to participate, obviously. it's not a big group. i mean, the security around here is pretty tight. it's pretty tough. as a matter of fact, we're justify really in this roped off little pen area here, this penned off area, and you can see the motorcade, the beast, which is right up at the front door there. he's going to come out and get back into the motorcade. so it's a very small group here, very controlled environment. obviously, the president needing to get this message out, and get this picture out. very important. >> suzanne malveaux for us. suzanne, great to see you as always. thank you. still to come in the cnn "newsroom," not enough african-american males are graduating from high school. we are looking at solutions next. challenges as vast
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as the space race a generation ago. and vital to global security. to reach this destination, our engineers are exploring every possibility. from energy efficiency to climate monitoring. securing our nations clean energy future is all a question of how. and it is the how that will make all the difference. is all a question of how. there's oil out there we've got to capture. my job is to hunt it down. i'm fred lemond, and i'm in charge of bp's efforts to remove oil from these waters. you may have heard that oil is no longer flowing into the gulf, but our spotter planes and helicopters will keep searching. we've still got thousands of vessels ready to clean up any oil we find. we've skimmed over 35 million gallons of oil/water mixture. i grew up on the gulf coast and i love these waters. we'll be here as long as it takes to clean up the gulf. i' the puppy that atyour bksea i'm a raom windstorm. [ un ]
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drug violence increases in mexico. priests and churches are becoming targets are drug traffickers. cnn's rafael romo files a report. plus, the jury dead locks on all but one count in the corruption trial of rod blagojevich. one juror refused to budge. a look ahead at what's next. now back to a story we covered yesterday. a new report showing fewer than half of black males graduate from high school on time, compared to 78% of white males getting their diplomas. the graduation gap is a nationwide problem. details now from cnn's mary snow. >> taking a look inside america's classrooms, a new report finds some of the lowest graduation rates for black males in districts with a large black male student population. only 28% of black males graduate on time in new york city. the same is true in philadelphia and detroit. john jackson is the president of the shot foundation for public education, an advocacy group
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working to level the playing field in education. >> when you look at states with 10, 15, 20, 30 percentage point gaps between the graduation rate for black males and white males, what it says is, we know how to educate our children. we just don't extend those conditions and resources to this certain population. >> jackson notes exceptions with newark, new jersey at the top of the list after officials more effectively targeted resources. and newark now has a 76% graduation rate among black males, with ft. ben, texas and baltimore not far behind. one key to success? jackson says early education. >> if we don't ensure that students, not just black male, but all students are literate by third grade, you will begin to see some of the factors that are really the result of their inability to read come into place, whether they're behavior factors, whether it's having them get behind another subjects.
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>> and there are lessons learned from schools like the frederick douglas academy, a public school in harlem, where the motto is, without struggle, there is no progress. principal gregory hodge says, nearly 75% of his students are black. all 225 students in the class of 2010 are going to college. >> we have a student here accepted to almost every ivy league in the country. >> reporter: besides starting college prep in the sixth grade, hodge says he keeps the school open seven days a week with clubs for everything from sports to row the bottomics. >> what happens is when you open up the school, every child is different, you've got to find something that the child is interested in, so that you can hook them in and keep them off the streets. >> reporter: and while this school and others are considered beacons of light, the shot foundation says the problem is, they are exceptions. and i took the conversation about the education gap a step further yesterday in an interview with ja jackson, leader of the foundation that conducted the study, and jeffrey
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canada, from the harlem children's zone. >> the african-american males, three or four minutes, talking about african-american males. what do you say to people who see this report and say, that's not a problem for my child. we are in a performing school district. you know, i have thrown money into the education rabbit hole for years. good, solid tax dollars, and here we are again, talking about african-american boys who aren't performing. you know, i feel bad for them over there, but it's not my issue. >> well, this is -- that's a great point. and this is one of the interesting things. in the shot report, while it focuses on african-american males, you look in general across this country, and you see a real education crisis among white boys, african-american boys. remember, this is really just graduating high school. we don't really believe that kids who have a high school diploma are going to be prepared
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to enter the labor market and be competitive with kids from around the world. so we've got a real challenge. i think the reason this is so important is we know if we improve the education outcomes for this group, we raised them for all children across this country. and right now, i would dare tell you, this is not just a problem with african-american males, as if the girls are doing good or if white students around this country are really being prepared for the new labor market. we've got a real crisis in our education system, and we need to be taking it seriously. this is the canary in the mine shaft. hey, guys, this thing is not working. we're not coming up with real solutions. we need to do a better john. >> john, do we need longer school days, longer school years? >> absolutely. rather than closing schools, we need to figure out how we can keep them open longer, how we can recruit and retain highly effective teachers. and as jeffrey has out lined, this is a challenge that
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confronts our entire nation. the president has indicated in order to be globally competitive we have to be a global leader in had post secondary education by 2020. with 47% of black males not graduating, we're not providing them the opportunity to learn, to stay on that trajectory. >> jeffrey, last word to you on this. >> well, look. this is something -- and i just want to put all my cards on the table on this. we've got to hold our mayors, our governors, we've got to bring the unions, the teachers' unions in here. we've got to say to everybody, look, guys, the data is there, it is not working. what are we going to do different? and we've got to hear who says, "i'm not prepared to change." those folk -- we've got to make sure we get out of this equation, because it's a national crisis and we really need business not as usual. we need to come up with new innovative plans, and it means all of us have to work on those plans. >> those two guys rock. hello again, everyone, i'm tony harris top of the hour in the
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cnn "newsroom" where anything can happen. here are some of the people behind today's top stories. 24 charges, only 1 sticks. we are digging deeper on the case against former governor rod blagojevich. >> not everybody is happy. a lot of people feel that we didn't complete our job by not being there, but, you know, like i said, i don't feel that way. we did everything in our power and it is what it is. >> knock nothing is sacred to drug cartels. pastors and priests being shaken down to fund the violent drug trade. and you are online right now and we are too. ines ferre is following what's hot. >> a lot of buzz on facebook. they'll be making a big media announcement today. and also wrist watches are pointless, e-mail way too slow. that's what college freshmen are saying, tony. >> we will check back with you later. let's get started with our lead story. the reality show that is rod blagojevich will be back for another run. the i am peopimpeoplached illin governor runninger rapids today.
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a jury convicted him on 1 of 24 counts. blagojevich's lawyers set a date for a retrial. blagojevich calls it a persecution. >> the federal prosecutor did everything he could to target me, prosecute me, persecute me, put pressure on my family, try to take our home, take me away from our kids, arrest me in the early morning hours on december the 9th with patty and me in our bedroom and little annie with us, and the prosecutor said he was stopping a crime spree before it happened. this jury shows you, notwithstanding the fact of the government and the power and resources they bring to bear, this jury shows you that notwithstanding the fact that the government threw everything but the kitchen sink at me, that on every count except for one, and every charge except for one, they could not prove that i did anything wrong, that i did break any laws.
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>> so jurors say the vote was 11-1 on the most sensational charge against blagojevich that he tried to sell the senate seat formerly held by president obama. >> i believe that they proved their case beyond all reasonable doubt. but to others, they didn't. and is it's the same evidence. so it's just a matter of opinion. >> you listen to a phone call, and you know, people would say, "that supports his guilty." and she would say "that supports the innocence. the not guilty side." she had had just such different views, that's the way she saw it. >> so let's talk about the holdout. a jury of one, midwin charles has spent a lot of time in front of juries, a contributor on "in session" on our sister network, trutv. good to see you. >> you too, tony. >> one juror, right, deadlocking on 23 of the 24 charges, right, against the former governor.
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isn't that classic jury -- juror nullification here? >> i don't know if it's jury nullification, tony. look, juries clearly have a lot of power when it comes to listening to the evidence. they're the ones who sit through the entire trial. and it could just be that they were not convinced by the evidence that the prosecution put forward. it could be just as simple as that. >> mid win, hang on a second. so the one woman -- again, it was 11-1. so the one woman couldn't convince the others of her view of the case, and the other 11 couldn't convince her of their view of the case. how is that anything other than juror nullification? >> well, i think the perspective is different here. in other words, the prosecution couldn't convince her beyond a reasonable doubt that blagojevich was guilty of those charges. and that really is their job. it's a heavy burden. and they just didn't meet it here. >> that's a good take. why doesn't patrick fitzgerald just move on?
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enough already. to retry this at this point, maybe -- the way to ask it is, how difficult would it be for any prosecutor to walk away from a case like this? >> you know, he's got a little egg on his face right now. and i just don't know how the people in illinois are going to feel about another 25, $30 million being spent on a retrial. remember, the state has unlimited resources at their disposal. much more of them, blagojevich and his defense team could ever have. but clearly, they're going to retry this case. he has to, almost. in order to save face. >> and then here's the reaction from rod blagojevich's defense attorney. sam adam. have a listen. >> this guy is going wild. this guy is nuts. he doesn't indict people for crimes and then prove it. he didn't prove it against scooter libby and he can't prove it against rod blagojevich. >> that does -- does he have a point here, midwin?
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>> i don't know. i mean, blagojevich is now the fourth illinois governor to be convicted of wrongdoing. his predecessor, george ryan, is currently in jail for corruption charges. so there does seem to be a pattern of corruption in the state of illinois when it comes to politics. so this prosecutor isn't completely out of his mind in trying to go after blagojevich for these charges. but at the end of the day, 23 charges acquitted. >> yeah, but found guilty on one count. >> on one. on one count, where the penalty is five years in prison. >> do you believe the former governor will serve some time based on that conviction, on that one count? >> i don't know. i mean, the penalty is five years. yes, it is, for the lying to the fbi. that was the one count that he was found guilty of, and the penalty is five years. i doubt he'll spend an entire five years in jail. i think a judge looking at this from the perspective of sentencing will probably give
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him a very short amount of time in jail, if any. he will most likely get probation. >> midwin, good to see you as always. come on back and see us. >> good to see you, tony. a south carolina mother will be arraigned this afternoon on double murder charges. authorities say shaquan duley smothereded her boys and rolled her car into a river with the bodies inside, trying to stage an accident. >> hello, yes. i'm on shillings bridge road, and a car ran in the pond and it's got kids in there. we need help fast, please. nd inaudible ] >> shilling bridge. the shilling bridge. >> what county? >> what county? >> uh-huh. orangeburg county. >> the orangeburg county sheriff says he believes duley was fed up with motherhood, and tried -- tired of her own mother berating her.
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neighbors and relatives say they never saw that side of doouly. duley. >> i don't know what goes on inside her home, but as far as from the outside, it looked like she took care of her kids. >> any time i've ever seen her, passed her at a gas station or something, she has had the baby with her. and really always seemed like she just was a good mother, from what i could understand. and being a single mother myself, i know it's just natural sometimes. it does get overwhelming, but never really seen anything out of the ordinary. >> oh, boy an update on this really disturbing story in the next hour of cnn "newsroom" with ali velshi. it is set for 2:00 p.m. eastern time, the arraignment. she ooud used the "n" word, and now laura schlesinger tells larry king what she plans to do next. >> what are you here to tell us tonight? >> i'm here to say that my contract is up for my radio show at the end of the year, and i've
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made the decision not to do radio anymore. the reason is, i want to regain my first amendment rights. i want to be able to say what's on my mind, and in my heart, and what i think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates and attack sponsors. i'm sort of done with that. i'm not retiring. i'm not quitting. i feel energized, actually, stronger and freer to say the things that i believe need to be said. >> but you're giving up the one area of your fame. >> ooh, my dear. i write books, i have blogs, i have my website. >> but people think dr. laura, they think her radio talk show. >> this is the era of the internet. >> so you're going to do internet stuff. >> oh, yeah.
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i am now. >> schlesinger, 63, has been on the air for more than 30 years. after today, bp says it will no longer accept oil disaster claims. ines ferre tells us what folks who still need to file should do. first, our random moment in 90 seconds. waking up with morning pain drain the energy right out of you. fight it with (new) bayer am. it combines extra strength bayer aspirin to treat pain plus an alertness aid to help you get off to a running start. try bayer am - the morning pain reliever.
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and only allstate pays you an extra bonus to do it. get one of these every six months you go without an accident. [ judy ] what are you waiting for? call or click today for a free quote or to find an allstate agent. let's rock it. rats are reviled as nasty and revoting creatures, at least in western culture. you know, perhaps they're just misunderstood. >> who is tinkerbell, are you getting in the bath? >> oh, cutie, little rat face. say hello to tinkerbell.
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our random moment of the day has a striking resemblance to the star of the disney movie, remember that, "aratatooey"? she gets along with her housemates, two cats. so we're the not talking about any tom and jerry shenanigans here. tinkerbell! you dirty rat. our random moment of the day.
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president obama in the neighborhood. just a short time ago, the president wrapped up a visit with an ohio family at their home in columbus. you saw it here live on cnn, the president covering a wide range of economic and health care issues during a backyard chat with families from the area. among the topics, help for small businesses. >> to ensure that small businesses are getting help, because small businesses like joe's architectural firm, are really the key to our economy. they create two out of every three jobs. and so we want to make sure
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they're getting financing, we want to make sure that we are cutting their taxes in certain key areas. one of the things we have done, for example, is propose that we eliminate capital gains taxes on small businesses, so that when they're starting up, and they don't have a lot of cash flow, that's exactly the time when they should get a break and some help. >> i've got to tell you, safe seafood a big concern in the oil disaster recovery effort. a major environmental watchdog group is calling for more stringent testing. products have been declared safe, and the waters reopened to fishing. but shrimpers say consumers are worried about contamination. >> we have had major distributors call up some of our processors who have been working with them for years, you know, generations. and they basically said we don't want gulf product. the dominant feeling right now, and it just kind of permeates everything, is fear. we're in unchartered waters, nobody knows what's going to
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happen. >> yeah, it is deadline day for submitting new claims to bp. individuals and businessed affected by the gulf oil spill must start submitting their claims to a government-appointed group. our ines ferre is following that story. >> so today is the last day that bp is accepting claims from businesses and individuals. after today, this will be handled by the gulf coast claims facility. that's the name of the agency that attorney kenfeineth was asked to handle, that was established by bp to compensate for damages caused by the spill. so the gulf coast claims facility will open on august 23rd. that's on monday. now, they'll have some 35 offices, and they hope for less wait time, and actually, attorney ken fine berg was asked yesterday how long would it take for people to get their checks. and he had said individuals, they would get their checks within 48 hours, for businesses up to seven days. now, the government claims will
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still be handled by bp, and they -- bp has actually received some 152,000 claims that were filed. they have paid out some 45,100 claims. and several -- many of these companies and individuals received several checks, and they have paid out some $369 million. now, if your claim is one of those that's pending, well, after today, these people, individuals and businesses, will need to resubmit their paperwork to the new agency handling this. >> okay, ines, appreciate it. see you later for what's hot. still to come, weird weather in colorado. check this out. it's called a land spout. have you heard of such a thing? and it had a lot of folks looking at the sky.
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let's get you caught up on top stories now. a south carolina woman accused of killing her two young sons making her first court appearance this afternoon.
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police say shaquan duley has admitted suffocating the toddlers, strapping their bodies into a car and pushing it into a river. a british kick boxer is on the run from the law in thailand after he stabbed a man in a bar brawl last week. hip-hop star wyclef jean will have to wait to find out if he is eligible to run for president. there are claims he hasn't lived in haiti for the last five years, but his lawyers say he has been paying taxes there, which means he is eligible. a desperate situation getting more serious by the hour. 2 million people are homeless in pakistan after massive flooding. about 1/5 of the country under water and international aid is slow to arrive. look at these pictures. cnn's sara sidner looks at the role the u.s. military is playing the in the relief effort. >> we're here off the shores of
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karachi with the expeditionary strike group number five. it is their whole mission to make sure to be available when there is some sort of disaster. they troll these waters, and they were in the area to help those in the flood zone in pakistan. they have been able to get about 5,000 people out of those flood zones, rescuing them with helicopters. they have also been able to drop about a half million pounds of aid. they said they will be here to take on more helicopters coming in, there are more ships coming in. the u.s. says it has a humanitarian commitment they're going to make to pakistan. they've already given about $90 million in kind. but the u.n. continually is saying that there is simply not enough aid being offered to this country, and so about 460 million so far, less than half of that has been pledged. there is still a great deal of need here in pakistan. the u.s. military says they'll be here. the united states itself says it
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will keep providing lots of help, as much as it can. but much more is needed here. sara sidner, cnn off the coast of karachi. >> there are ways you can provide help in need. check out our website, cnn.com/impact. want to get to chad myers here. and chad, are we going to deal with this land spout here? >> you want to look at that? >> can we look at that? >> sure. if we can take it all the way full. we talk about tornadoes, we talk about potential for land spouts and how they're different. how they're a big tornado would be attached to a rotating meso cyclone thunderstorm. >> i've heard you say that a few times. >> 40,000 feet in the sky, right? >> yes. >> but it you just have updrafts, if you just have lifting air, whether it be by hot air in the desert -- you have seen things that look like that, that are just dust. or you have significant rising air in a thunderstorm that's just building. you can get this to extend all
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the way down to the ground. and, you know, it could be called a tornado. and what i see here, i see enough of a cone up above that it's probably attached to a larger thunderstorm aloft. this was just a couple days ago. i can't go back and look at the radar, so i can't know exactly what this was attached to. >> man. >> but great pictures. really awesome stuff there. >> yeah, good stuff. >> except for the video in dc. did you see in this morning? >> no, there's more? >> there's flooding in dc this morning, and there's going to be flooding all the way from dc down to possibly northern louisiana. so you need to be careful here. and especially in the areas that have seen so much rainfall. now, dc, maryland, delmarva, the mid atlantic states have been very dry. so take the good with the bad. yesterday there was water coming up, but they really need the rain for the crops and everything else. in louisiana, they don't need anymore rainfall from shreveport to the arklatex, very dry, but flooding coming in today. 8 to 10 inches of rain has already fallen in parts of louisiana.
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we had three or four inches in dc and that's what caused those pictures early this morning. we have showers across dc right now, but not bad. showers in west virginia, kentucky, and there are some flash flood warnings into parts of kentucky and northern tennessee itself. but the rain has really slowed down for the most part now. once the ground is saturated, the water comes up. but we're okay for now. >> all right, chad. good stuff. thank you, sir. you know, somewhere between 6 million and 8 million cats and dogs a year are left at shelters across the united states. and as the number of foreclosures rises, so does the number of animals left behind in abandoned homes. sometimes pups are left on the street. in this little guy's case, his name is charlie, outside a starbucks in brookline, massachusetts. >> whoever did it, cared enough about the dog to want to convey his name, and to hope to entice somebody with that note to take him home. so i think that probably implies that in some way they wanted to do the right thing.
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the gentleman who saw him went into the starbucks and is surrounded businesses and asked if he belonged to anybody, and couldn't find anybody who laid claim to this dog so he brought him home that night. >> so if you're struggling with pet care costs and, look, you can find some terrific help. tips, links, at the humane societi.org. new york's governor steps up. a compromise may be cooking over an islamic center and mosque planned for this site near ground zero.
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speaking of compromise and the battle over an islamic center and mosque near ground zero. new york governor david paterson is hoping to meet with the developer of the controversial project. he is offering to provide land to the developer if he moves it to this site. the developer says he is surprised the project has whipped up a political debate. >> we are nowhere near the world trade center site. it's a really sad day for america when our politicians choose to look at a constitutional right, and use that as basis for their elections. >> governor paterson has said he does not object to the islamic center at its currently planned location. but he says he is also sensitive
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to 9/11 families. and just last hour, president obama reacted to this controversy again. this time, following his backyard round table with ohio neighbors. >> it's working in columbus. coverage is working in columbus. >> the answer is no regrets. >> okay. was the question -- i didn't hear the question. if he regretted the -- if the president regretted weighing in on the controversy? and you heard his response there. no regrets. a new sienna college poll shows most new yorkers are against the islamic center and mosque being built near ground zero. 63 oppose the plan, 27% support it. but a majority believe they have a constitutional right to build it. 28% say they do not have the right. conservative blogger, pamela gellar says the push is not
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about constitutional rights. she made her case on cnn's "anderson cooper 360." >> i never said you can't put your mosque there, and i have never invoked the first amendment either. it's not a religious liberties issue. it is a human compassion issue. it is common decency that this is so painful to so many 9/11 families. and frankly, we're all 9/11 families, because they just took the hit for us. >> gellar was instrumental in igniting the firestorm. randi kaye looks at how it grew into a national controversy. >> eight months ago, the mosque and islamic community center planned for nearby ground zero was hardly on the public radar. in fact, whatever publicity it was getting appeared positive, even from conservatives. december 21st, 2009, fox news talks with daisy con, the wife of the mosque's imam.
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but around the same time, rumblings of outrage led by blogger, pamela gellar. in may of this year, she titled her blog, monster mosque pushes ahead in shadow of world trade center, islamic death and destruction. she called it, quote, islamic domination. a week later, it was igniting mainstream media. on may 13th, andrea misser picked up on the outrage and wrote a column she entitled "mosque madness at ground zero," describing it as a quote kick in the teeth. salon.com says this is the first time a newspaper labeled the project as wrong and suspect. other media picked up on that. suddenly, the project was being referred to as "the ground zero mosque," even though the site is two blocks away from ground zero and is as much a community center as a mosque. may 16th, the conservative "washington examiner" ran the med line, a mosque to mock 9/11
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victim and families. the "new york post" assigned a team to cover the daily developments. the story was on everyone's radar. >> controversy is flaring. >> a controversial decision has been made to allow a mosque to be built in the shadow of ground zero. >> by july, it had become a hot political issue. sarah palin was tweeting about it. july 18th. peace-seeking muslims, please understand, ground zero mosque is unnecessary provocation. it stabs hearts. please reject it in interest of healing. a month or so later, august 13th, president obama weighed in it, with support. >> this is america. and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. >> and this e-mail to me from daisy con, the imam's wife, promising they are committed to peace. we have lived and worked and prayed the lower manhattan neighborhood for many will 30 years. we feel it is our honor and responsibility to help rebuild the community while we condemn
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any sort of extremism, terrorism or intolerance. the very issues at the heart of the matter. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> what a story. a game-changer for solar power or pie in the sky? a new device is calling the shots over new jersey's electricity grid. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to 80% of your part b expenses. if you're already on or eligible for medicare, call now to find out how an aarp... medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company, helps cover some of the medical expenses... not paid by medicare part b. that can save you from paying up to thousands of dollars... out of your own pocket. these are the only medicare supplement insurance plans... exclusively endorsed by aarp. when you call now, you'll get this free information kit...
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want to get you to cnnmoney.com. look at the lead story. why i took social security early. are more and more people doing this? i need to read this story. that's interesting. how to fix social security, most americans don't count on it. i don't know how you could in this economy right now. but there you go. cnnmoney.com. let's get you to the big board, new york stock exchange, three hours into the trading day now. and we're essentially flat, trading down five points. nasdaq is in positive territory. so a mixed day so far. up seven. a small company in new jersey is producing a potential game-changing device for america's electricity grid. that's creating green jobs, and giving the local economy a real boost. patricia woo went to new jersey to check it out. >> you drive this road every day? >> yeah, this is a fantastic road, because this is where the first solar panels went up, and increased over time.
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so seeing them lined up like that is just fantastic. >> he is an engineer for petro solar, a small new jersey company making a big impact on the state's electricity grid. >> first of all, it is solar energy-generated. second, acts as a sensor that communicates back and forth to the utility. actually, does a lot of intelligence analysis on the local conditions of the grid. >> this is the panel, and then that's the intelligence right here. >> that's the -- exactly. >> and that little box is the game-changer. >> that little box is the game-changer. and really, the simplest way of saying that is think of an iphone. one might say, well, it's just a phone. well, it's a cam remarks a communications device, it has memory, a processor, it has software. >> petro solar is installing 200,000 of what it calls smart solar panels on utility poles all over new jersey. smart, because they don't just generate energy, they monitor the grid for potential problems,
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and that could mean fewer blackouts. new jersey's largest utility, pse & g, is paying $200 million for the installation. some of the cost is being passed on to customers. >> rate payers initially will pay 10 cents a month for this investment, and then that diminishes over time. >> the overall costs still bothers some critics of the project. they say solar investments are driving up the price of conventional electricity for homeowners and businesses. but the mayor here disagrees. >> it's not only that we have a company that's -- you know, green technology, doing great things for the environment, but it's creating jobs within petro, and impacting surrounding communities. >> the work force grew ten fold. it expects to add hundreds or thousands more jobs if it can land contracts with other utilities. >> we have created practically a full spectrum of jobs. phds, as well as highly intensive labor work that we
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have for assembly assistants. we're very proud of -- humbled at the same time, but very proud of, given the economic environment that surrounds us. >> all right. let's -- well, let's see, here. what about petra, how many jobs are we talking about? and could this have an sbablth on the unemployment rate? >> well, you know, it all depends on just how many utility companies petra can convince to make similar investments. so far it's in talks with at least 40 other utilities in the u.s. and around the world, and it estimates that 100 to 150 jobs can be created per contract signed. so tony, if you do the math, that's a potential for 4 to 6,000 jobs. >> wow. >> that formula has worked for petra in new jersey. petra itself went from 10 to nearly 150 employees in about four years. and it's still hiring. there are also spinoff benefits. for example, the company that was hired to install those panels says it's had to hire more workers. tony? >> all right, patricia, good to see you. thank you. still to come in the "newsroom," california has a bit
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of a bear problem. why are so many barging in on neighborhoods these days? what's going on here? got the mirrors all adjusted? you can see everything ok? just stay off the freeways, all right? i don't want you going out on those yet. and leave your phone in your purse, i don't want you texting. >> daddy... ok! ok, here you go. be careful. >> thanks dad. >> and call me--but not while you're driving. we knew this day was coming. that's why we bought a subaru. junior, run the numbers! price on a flight to maui. >> on it, dad. >> nobody move!! >> hrmmm? ♪ priceline negotiator >> i'm calling a family meeting. >> there's no time... we're searching hundreds of sites for the cheapest flight. >> what you're doing is setting a bad example for the kids. on priceline, you can shop all these flights, and get the best price guaranteed. and if you add a hotel or car, you save even more.
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checking your top stories
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now. the south carolina mother accused of killing her two toddlers is due in court today. shaquan duley faces two counts of murder. she is accused of suffocating her children, strapping them into a car and pushing it into a river. bp says it will not accept any new claims after today. bp says it has paid $368 million in claims so far. there has been a huge increase in bear activity in lake tahoe this summer. wildlife officials say the problem is people leaving their garbage outside. >> it's like the yogi bear thing. he didn't want me, he didn't want a human. he wanted a picnic basket. >> investigating three cases right now of people who are actually feeding bears in their yard. bringing big bowls of dog food out. >> officials say they get nearly 200 calls a day, three times the norm, and have killed 13 bears so far this year. got to tell you, no one is immune to the drug gang wars in mexico. hear what priests have to say
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about the threats against them. ( revving, siren blares ) there's no way to hide it. sir, have you been drinking tonight? if you ride drunk, you will get caught... and you will get arrested.
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got to tell you, no one is safe in the deadly drug wars in mexico, not even priests. latin american affairs editor rafael romo has that story. >> reporter: as one of the highest officials in the church, monsignor victor rodriguez has been receiving the alarming reports from all over mexico. his priests are telling him they are being constantly threatened, extorted and abused by drug
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traffickers. he says sometimes threats don't materialize, but in cases where priests haven't obeyed their drug traffickers' demands, churches have been damaged, priests attacked, and in a few cases, even killed. according to monsignor rodriguez, some bishops have opted for cancelling early evening masses to protect parishioners from the drug violence. of the 28,000 drug-related deaths in the last four years, 40% have happened in this border state. across the border from el paso, texas, more than 100 pastors have reported threats and extortion has become all too common. >> translator: they accuse us of being friendly to rival drug gangs. they tell us, either you cooperate or you die. monday senior rodriguez also says priests are forced to
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minister to drug traffickers. he says strangers tell priests they're being picked up at a certain time and are forced to go, not knowing where they're being taken to or what service they're providing. he says families of priests are also being threatened. >> rafael romo joining me now. this is pretty low. i mean, honestly. churches, right? safe zones. that's the way we think of them, correct? i mean, it's -- >> we think of it as sank areas and something sacred. and a country that is 90% or more catholic and now not even the churches are being respected. >> if you're a member of a cartel going after churches, what does that mean about businesses? businesses must be targeted every day. >> especially small businesses along the border. they're being extorted, they're being demanded payment for protection. and it's an everyday occurrence in places across the border from el paso, texas, where you see a
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concentration of violence and two drug cartels fighting for territory. >> is there nothing that the government can do to provide safety, security? i mean, that's -- in many people's eyes, the number one job, right, to provide safety and security? is there anything the government can do in the case of these churches that are being targeted? >> that's the question that has been asked, and the mexican government -- the position they have is that we are doing something about it. we are attacking the drug cartels, and they are acting like that, because they're desperate. we're winning the battle, we're winning the war, but the in meantime, we're going to have this kind of violence, and this is the result of a four-year war on drug cartels. >> tell me -- we were just having this discussion about the other story you're working on about a mexican blogger, who is going to do what, and in an approach to getting the word out on the reality of what the drug cartels are doing on the streets of mexico. >> well, the situation right now in mexico is that mainstream media is really not reporting reality.
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because they're afraid -- they have been threatened, there have been attacks against tv networks, and so they are practicing self censorship. they're not reporting everything there is out there. and so this blog came out in march, and is reporting, based on videos and pictures that the creator is getting anonymously, is telling people exactly what's going on. shockingly violent videos and pictures that you wouldn't be able to see anywhere else. >> how is this blogger going to be able to do this and protect his or herself? i mean, if mainstream media in mexico is being cowed by the violence, i mean, does this guy have some kind of a territory res or this operation have protection there? >> we tried to get an interview with him. he does not reveal his identity, he does not appear on camera, he doesn't talk to you on the phone. he would only answer our questions by e-mail. and he says all i want to do is to let people know what's going on, the reality of mexico. >> it's an interesting approach, because the internet can give you a little anonymity.
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might not be a bad approach. "rolling stone" rolls out a shocking cover, and folks watch a wing snap right off. ines ferre is here with what's hot on the internet. when you pursue an mba at devry university's... keller graduate school of management, you'll have a professor with you every step of the way. whether you take classes on campus, online, or both, you get the same attention,
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i've got to tell you. we can't stop talking about this
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video you're about to show everyone. should we just air it? it's an air show in argentina? >> yeah, in my own country, and this happened on sunday, and the pilot is 22 years old, and you'll see he's doing these peer owe wets in the air, and flying upside down at one point. >> nice, everything is good here. >> and tries to turn the plane over, and you'll see in just a second what happens to this -- >> look at that. >> that's the wing that just snapped off. it just literally snaps off. and he said that he pushed a parachute button where you see this -- >> well, what's critical there is that you get the spinning and rotation of the plane and have to be careful as yuri injecting you don't get hit. >> he's fine, because he's got this parachute on the plane, unbelievable. this next one is from cnn.com. you know, if you've got a college -- if you've got a college son or anything. >> soon. >> wristwatches are pointless. forget it.
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e-mail is way too slow for them. >> old school. >> totally old school. forget it. it's like a thing of the past, so 1999. this is according to a beloit college mind set list. they say the class of 2014, that they think that e-mail is slow. they also think that clint eastwood -- they know him as an oscar-award winning director. >> not familiar with his days as an actor, right, just as a director. >> just as a director. snoop doggy dog is now snoop dogg. a whole bunch of things. it just makes you feel old, basically. >> and thank you for that. thank you for doing that to me today. >> you know what i mean. and this next one. well, no -- this next one is from cnn.com. yeah. >> can we put that on television? >> i know. i guess you can. >> i guess we just did. >> this is the cover that's -- this is turning on twitter -- >> this is the vampire stuff? >> yeah, true blood, this hbo
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show. if you're into vampires and stuff like that, then -- >> so they're covered in blood. >> yeah, they're covered in blood, and it's really getting a lot of attention online. i don't know if you like the vampire thing. >> this is freshly after feeding, obviously. >> yeah. let's go back to this, though. >> yeah. that's amazing. and the pilot is okay. >> 22-year-old pilot started flying at 16, he's fine. >> ines, thank you. still to come, one small midwestern town has found a way to beat the recession. back in a moment. ould i try pri? >> no it's a sale. nothing beats a sale! wrong move! you. you can save up to half off that sale when you name your own price on priceline. but this one's a deal...trust me. it's only pretending to be a deal. here, bid $79. got it. wow! you win this time good twin! there's no disguising the real deal.
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so how about this as a way to win in this economy? oshkosh, wisconsin hosts one of the world's largest air shows. business is booming, and the folks there couldn't be happier. >> we're in oshkosh, wisconsin, the aviation home of the world for one week out of the year. it's eaa air venture, a big air show and a lot more. and it attracts more than 500,000 people and more than 10,000 airplanes. it's virtually impossible to get a hotel room in oshkosh for this week. >> we are fully booked every year, there is a waiting list to get in. we did come here because of the air show, but there has to be other business that supports us the rest of the year, also. >> there's more than $110 million of economic impact for the state of wisconsin because of this event. >> our special today is the
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chorizo. this is the oldest mexican restaurant in oshkosh. the first year that we experienced the air show, business was fabulous, and we were able to grow from a 50-seat restaurant and expand to 148 seats. >> we have folks from around the world coming to the small midwest community where people are friendly. >> bon jour. >> i'm from iceland. >> it's not too dry. >> hard for me to find jobs with everything the way it is. i came here, they welcomed me with open arms and i'm very thankful for it. glad the show is here, because if it wraent for them, i wouldn't have a job. >> most of our part-timers are working full time and some of our full timers are putting in overtime. >> the money i'm making from this job, i'm using for textbooks for school and part of tuition. >> we are providing jobs, because of the air show. a restaurant on site is called the vintage grill. we had to add 40 temporary staff to that. >> it's a huge, huge boost for
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the city of oshkosh, and for people to get some money in their pockets. >> i think we're very lucky to have an air show here. >> it does get a little noisy. >> oshkosh is the place each year. >> we've got a little cessna going by. >> i think that's an f-18. >> i think it's just something that everybody has gotten used to, because you actually miss it once it's gone. >> yes, i love it. as i like to say at about this time every, it's time to take it to the next level. cnn "newsroom" continues now with ali velshi from new york city. doctor. >> if i can just hold at your level, i'm good. i'm ali velshi with you for the next two hours today and every weekday, taking every important topic we cover a step further. i'll try to give you a level of detail that will put your world into con next. natural disaster in pakistan. security around the world.

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